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Photographer's Note

The last photograph that I posted to TrekEarth was an exterior shot of the Arg- Karim Khani (Citadel of Karim Khan) in the centre of Shiraz. Inside, the citadel is divided into the military quarters and the residential palace. The palace had many beautifully painted rooms, but in 1932 the citadel was turned into a prison and all the painted walls were plastered over. In 1981 the citadel was handed over to the then Office of Art and Culture (now the Office of Cultural Heritage of Fars) which is gradually restoring the rooms to their former glory.

The restoration project is a painstaking process and it takes a team of four men (a restoration architect and four artisans) five years to restore one room. The plaster has to be carefully removed, trying to leave the paint on the wall underneath, and then touched up. If the plaster cannot be removed without putting the paint off, then the artists will repaint that part of the wall copying the designs from other parts of the room.

In this picture the restoration architect, who is supervising the project, is touching up a section of the painted wall that was able to be saved. Below and in the alcove to his right you will see a part of the wall that was not able to be saved, and this is where they will reproduce the patterns from other parts of the room.

This was taken with a wide angle lens (18 mm) to show you almost the full height of the room and about two thirds of the width. Most of the rooms being restored are about this size. When restoration is complete, the residential palace will be opened to the public as a museum.

I have posted to the workshop a photograph taken in one of the other rooms where restoration has just started to show you what the walls looked like in the days that the citadel was used as a prison.

PP: Adjusted levels and sharpened.

PS: I think these could be the first photographs of this restoration project posted on the Internet. I did an extensive Internet search to try and find out more information about this project, but I could find nothing (I got all the above information from my guide in Shiraz who is a friend of the restoration architect)

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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